Increased crude oil production during 2014 and 2015 allowed Saudi Arabia to keep its export levels high to seven major trading partners in Asia.
Despite crude prices falling, this increased production enabled the country to maintain its market share in these countries.
According to a report from the EIA, in the first half of 2015, Saudi Arabia exported on average 4.4 million barrels per day of crude oil to seven major trading partners in Asia, making up more than half of Saudi Arabia’s total crude oil exports over that period.
In 2014 and 2015, Saudi Arabia has focused more on maintaining its crude oil market share among its customers, particularly in Asia, where much of the recent growth in liquid fuels demand has occurred.
From January to June 2015, total crude oil imports reported for seven Asian countries averaged 19.1 million barrels per day, about 700,000 b/d higher than during the same period in 2014. Saudi Arabian crude oil import shares were nearly unchanged in China, Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, while declining in Singapore.
The country has invested heavily in its refining sector in an effort to reduce petroleum product imports, decrease its reliance on using crude oil for power generation, and shift towards exporting more petroleum products.
The commissioning of two major refineries has added 800,000 b/d of refining capacity in the past two years.